Difference Between A Pub And A Bar

When it comes to choosing a place to unwind with friends and family, people often have a common question in mind: What’s the difference between a pub and a bar? These two popular establishments are often used interchangeably, but there are actually notable differences between them that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the differences between a pub and a bar, and help you choose the perfect spot for your next night out.

What is a Pub?

The word ‘pub’ is short for ‘public house’, and it’s a type of establishment that is extremely popular in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Pubs are often characterized as a cozy and welcoming environment where people gather to socialize, eat, drink and mainly hang out with friends. They are often located in villages, towns, and cities, and many people visit them regularly to catch up with their friends over a pint of beer.

Pubs are usually larger than bars, with plenty of seating and a comfortable atmosphere. They are also known to serve a wider range of alcoholic beverages than bars, including beers, ciders, wines, and spirits. In addition to alcohol, pubs often serve hearty meals such as fish and chips, traditional pies, and other savory dishes that can be enjoyed with a pint or two. These establishments also have a laid-back atmosphere, and it’s common to find people simply chatting, playing darts, or even participating in trivia night.

What is a Bar?

A bar, on the other hand, is an establishment where alcoholic beverages are served, however, the atmosphere is often livelier than a pub. Bars cater to a younger audience who enjoys partying with friends, live music, or dancing. They are usually smaller in size and have a more modern and contemporary look, with decor that usually includes bright lights, neon signs, and trendy music.

Bars serve a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, from hard liquor to beer and mixed drinks, and they often feature a bar menu that includes appetizers, snacks, and light meals. Customers usually consume their drinks standing up near the bar or sitting in high chairs, and it’s common for the bar staff to engage in conversation with them while they prepare the drinks.

The Differences Between Bars and Pubs

1. Atmosphere

The most notable difference between bars and pubs is the atmosphere. Pubs are known to provide a laid-back, cozy, and intimate environment that is perfect for socializing and unwinding. On the other hand, bars have a lively and energetic atmosphere that is often more conducive to partying and dancing.

2. The Crowd

Bars cater to a younger audience, usually in their 20s and early 30s, who enjoy going out for a night of entertainment and music. Pubs, on the other hand, typically cater to a more mature crowd, including couples, tourists, and older groups of friends.

3. The Menu

Pubs are known for their hearty meals, such as fish and chips, pie and mash, and other traditional English fare. Bars, on the other hand, usually offer bar food and snacks such as nachos, wings, and sliders.

4. The Drinks

Unlike bars, Pubs usually offer a wider variety of alcoholic beverages, including traditional English beers and ciders, wines, and spirits. Bars, on the other hand, often specialize in cocktails, shooters, craft beer, and other trendy drinks.

5. Décor

Pubs have a more rustic and traditional look, often featuring exposed brick, wooden beams, and cozy fireplaces. Bars, on the other hand, have a more modern and trendy look, with bright lights, bold prints, and neon signage.

Why Choose a Pub versus a Bar?

Pubs are a great option for those looking for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere to grab a drink and enjoy some hearty food with friends. They are perfect for catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, or enjoying a drink after work. If you’re looking for a quiet night, playing darts or even participating in trivia night with a group of friends, then a pub is the perfect place for this.

If you’re looking for a more lively atmosphere, then a bar is the ideal option. If you enjoy dancing, socializing with new people, or listening to live music or even enjoy trendy drinks then a bar is the perfect place for you. Bars can offer a more energetic environment with a younger crowd, a perfect option for those who want to let loose after a long week of work.


In summary, while pubs and bars can appear similar at the surface, they are actually quite distinct in terms of their atmosphere, crowd, menu, drinks, and décor. Whether you choose a pub or a bar really depends on your preferences and needs for the evening. So, next time you feel like having a night out, choose the type of establishment that fits your mood perfectly.